BFCM 2023: Top 5 Email Trends for Inbox Visibility

Over 100 million emails will be sent on Black Friday alone this year.

Will yours stand out? 👀

We’ve rounded up five email trends (plus a bonus at the end) to give you a competitive advantage in the inbox this BFCM:

  1. Teasers, previews, and early access sales
  2. Mobile and dark mode domination
  3. Interactive minimalism
  4. Personalized offers
  5. Rebellious anti-Black Friday campaigns

Today, we’re providing some education and inspo for number one — Teasers, previews, and early access sales. 👇

1️⃣ Use teasers, previews, and early access sales to boost sales

BFCM weekend is a big deal for brands in DTC. We prepare for months on end, and so we tend to think our shoppers see it as a big deal, too.

But here’s a stat that might blow your mind (especially if you’re more of a last-minute-gifter 🙋)

🤯 59% of consumers start their holiday shopping before BFCM — typically by November and sometimes as early as September!

Why would anyone be so ahead of the ball?

One reason is that shopping over BFCM weekend is seen as “stressful” by some consumers.

Think shipping delays, supply chain issues, and items going out of stock. 💆

So, brands look to appeal to early bird shoppers by launching BFCM campaigns sooner rather than later.

That means you’ll see more “pre-sale,” “sneak peek,” or “early access” emails to generate hype, make shoppers feel exclusive, and give them a chance to get their shopping done before the weekend rush. 🛍️ 

Want to ensure people see and open your early-sale emails? Use your subject line and preheader to tell email scrollers what they can expect when they open. 

For example:

1️⃣ Subject line: We’re Giving You A Sneak Peek

2️⃣ Preheader: Get X% off in our exclusive holiday pre-sale

This also has the plus side of alleviating shipping constraints and supply chain demands for brands.

Want to jump on the early bird train this year? Check out these pre-BFCM emails for inspo. 👇

Here’s an example of Ritual's well-designed, mobile-friendly, early-access email. 

Why it works: 40% off is a BFCM-worthy deal, and the bundle offer increases the average order value (AOV) for the brand while allowing the consumer to try another product.

This email from High shows an example of a newer trend in recent years: offering a “VIP” early access sale to shoppers who sign up. 

Why it works: This early access email is oh-so-pretty and oh-so-enticing. The copy clearly shows shoppers that they get first dibs on the holiday deals and allows them to take the conversation out of the ol’ crowded email inbox. 

P.S. This strategy could be a great way to grow your SMS list, and we love the added incentive of offering prizes.

Little Sleepies combines multiple strategies in this pre-Black Friday email, and we love 👏 to 👏 see 👏 it!

Why it works: A checklist encourages shoppers to get their carts started, plus the VIP group and text Early Access help grow their other channels while giving shoppers a preview of what’s to come.

This email from BOOM! gives just enough of a teaser of their sale to entice shoppers to sign up for their VIP list.

Why it works: Sometimes, less is more. BOOM! tells their shoppers they’re cooking up big things for the holiday season, but those big things (and big sales) require you to sign up to learn more. They instill a healthy dose of FOMO and mention a free gift with purchase to seal the deal.

Here’s an approach if you want to offer a sale for customers but don’t want to compete with everyone else over BFCM. 

This small brand, Perfect Supplements, runs its biggest sale every year, weeks before Black Friday. The discount is generous, and the return policy is even more so. 

Why it works: Not only do they avoid fighting for your attention in a crowded inbox, but they also decrease the risk of any shipping delays or supply constraints. 

This could be a great approach for smaller brands and probably much appreciated by customers, too!

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